Top of its league: The rise of Nordeus

Top of its league: The rise of Nordeus
Marie Dealessandri

By Marie Dealessandri

June 16th 2016 at 12:30PM

As Nordeus goes through a phase of substantial growth, HR manager Milena Dulanovic tells Marie Dealessandri about the studio’s job openings and why great art is the key to mobile success

Nordeus was founded in 2010 in a windowless room of a Serbian shopping centre. Six years later, the studio has 140m registered users for its mobile football management title Top Eleven, which Nordeus claims has been played in every country in the world.

Nordeus now has studios in London and Dublin, as well as its Belgrade headquarters where most of its staff – around 160 people – are based.

The studio significantly strengthened its teams recently, hiring a new head of art in the form of Daryl Clewlow and reinforcing its recruitment team with a new chief talent officer, Ana Mitraševi?, and senior talent acquisition manager, Katrina Mosson, who worked for the likes of NaturalMotion and Activision.

More opportunities should be available at the studio in the coming months, HR manager Milena Dulanovi? (pictured) reveals.

“As the gaming industry tends to be very dynamic, our hiring efforts need to be agile as well,” she observes. “That means our recruitment is a process that changes and evolves all the time. In general, our recruitment needs always reflect our internal game development phases.

“At the moment, with the invaluable guidance of our head of art, we are focused on levelling-up our art discipline. This is because we believe that the highest-quality art is absolutely essential to creating a triple-A mobile gaming experience.”

To support this philosophy, Nordeus is hiring art directors, senior technical artists, VFX artists and senior animators. 

“The success of Top Eleven has raised the bar incredibly high for us, and it is a standard we intend on keeping,” Dulanovi? vows. “For us, it’s always about making the best games possible.”

The football sim is not the only ace up Nordeus’ sleeve, as the HR boss promises new games later in the year.

“Aside from Top Eleven, we’re busy working on exciting new games that we think will be super fun to play for players everywhere.”

To bring these new titles to life, Nordeus is also looking for new talent in game design, marketing, product management and UX design.

“We are always working on keeping the right balance between hiring promising young talents and experts with invaluable industry know-how,” Dulanovi? reveals. “We know from experience that both approaches and perspectives are essential for a successful game production process.” 

NORDEUS UNITED

In order to maintain this successful game production process, Nordeus follows a simple, but effective, mindset: ‘All for one and one for all.’

“The trust that we have for one another means that each employee irreplaceably contributes to who we are as a company,” Dulanovi? says.

“Not only do we work in small teams that are empowered with creative freedom, we also operate with a very flat structure. This means that we all compliment each other’s skillsets and adapt very quickly to the tasks at hand.

“The well-being of our people is one of our highest priorities. There is an array of benefits we offer all our employees: unlimited learning and development opportunities, attractive bonus schemes, full healthcare coverage, flexible working hours, access to the latest technology, delicious food and beverages in all our offices, and gym memberships. We also have a great relocation plan for top talents interested in positions based in Belgrade.”

Devs interested in working at Nordeus, or anywhere in the development industry, should clearly demonstrate their experience and passion, Dulanovi? believes.

“Candidates shouldn’t be afraid to share their projects and ideas — whether professional or personal — with us,” she encourages.

“It’s important to remember that these don’t need to be of the highest level of production, only that they demonstrate the applicant’s skills and knowledge. If they can show us their interests and passions, then that’s even better.” 

CHANGING TIMES

With virtual and augmented reality gathering momentum, Dulanovi? thinks now is the right time to be
get involved with the games industry.

“The opportunities and experiences these new technologies will create for developers and players is immense,” she comments. “VR has the potential to become a truly immersive experience, whilst AR has the potential to drastically expand experiences on mobile.”

One way Nordeus wants to improve the mobile experience is by targeting hardcore gamers, at a time when the majority of mobile developers remain focused on casual players.

“Very soon, the evolution of mobile devices will open up the possibility of creating triple-A games for this unique platform,” Dulanovi? forecasts.

“It will be very challenging but, I feel that, when done right, it will change the landscape of the gaming industry – and we’re very excited to see that happen.”